Texas ranks # 2 among states with most puppy scams, data shows

SAN ANTONIO – It’s gift season, but if you’re thinking about giving a puppy as a Christmas present, you might want to think twice.

Based on data from Veterinarians.org, Texas ranks # 2 for states with the most puppy scams. The website compiled data from the Better Business Bureau as well as demographics from the Statista Research Department to determine their ranking.

From January 1 to October 31, 242 puppy scams were reported in Texas. The average amount of money lost to a puppy scam was $ 913.20, according to the data.

California ranks # 1 with 345 scams reported in the same time period. Florida followed Texas closely with 219 reported scams.

Researchers say the data shows a 165% increase in puppy scams compared to the same time period in 2019.

Due to COVID-19, some crooks have claimed that potential buyers cannot see the puppy in person due to social distancing guidelines, but will still require a deposit to secure the dog, the researchers said. These cases often require payment by wire transfer or through peer-to-peer payment apps such as Venmo, where buyers may not be able to get a refund.

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To avoid a potential puppy scam, Veterinarians.org offers these five warning signs if you are looking to buy a dog.

  • If a seller won’t let you see the puppy in person before you pay or the seller doesn’t send you photos / videos prior to purchase.

  • The seller wants you to send money by wire transfer or through a peer-to-peer payment app, such as Venmo, or through a gift card.

  • The seller asks for additional payment for things like an air-conditioned case for shipping, vaccination, or transport / life insurance. Sellers can send emails stating that shipping / crate rental charges will be refunded, but this is often not the case.

  • The seller’s website makes no mention of the puppy’s parents, and they are unable to provide health records or AKC certification.

  • A purebred breed is sold at a price significantly lower than the average price of a puppy of that breed.

Those interested in adopting a dog can use the AKC Rescue Network website to find breed-specific rescue groups. You can also use the AKC Marketplace website to find responsibly bred AKC puppies.

Veterinarians.org says 10-30% of dogs in shelters tend to be purebred dogs. If you are interested in adopting a puppy from a nearby shelter, you can visit the San Antonio Animal Care Services website to view adoptable animals.

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